Canada's TD Bank plots 8 bln stg raid on RBS U.S. arm - paper

LONDON Sun Oct 13, 2013 8:32am EDT

LONDON Oct 13 (Reuters) - Canada's Toronto-Dominion Bank is considering an 8 billion pound ($12.76 billion) bid for Royal Bank of Scotland's American retail banking business Citizens, The Sunday Times reported without citing sources.

The newspaper said the Canadian bank has long coveted Citizens and has become more interested since the summer.

RBS declined to comment on the report.

The bank, 82 percent owned by British taxpayers, said in February that it would sell 20-25 percent of Citizens in the next two years through an initial public offerring in New York.

It is under pressure from lawmakers to focus on lending to British households and businesses, and from Britain's financial regulator to bolster its capital position.

Analysts have said that a full sale of the U.S. business could raise as much as 8 billion pounds.

Toronto-Dominion is one of a number of parties to have been linked with a takeover of the business, but Chief Executive Ed Clark dismissed the idea in February, saying that a deal would not meet his bank's stated criteria for acquisitions.

The Canadian bank could not be reached immediately for comment.